The Civil War and Reconstruction

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

in Government & The American Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226251271
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226251295 | DOI:
The Civil War and Reconstruction

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Prior to the Civil War, the United States stood out as one of the few remaining world powers striving to uphold the ancient but waning institution of slavery. Now it had dramatically and decisively joined the cause of abolition. This chapter looks at the impact of the Civil War on the American economy, and the way the outcome of the war and Reconstruction established the strength of the federal government. It begins with a brief survey of how the relation between the U.S. economy and government was evolving in the antebellum years. It then examines slavery both as labor system and as cause of sectional strife. It also discusses the war's impact on government in four overlapping realms: military mobilization, public finance, civil liberties, and economic mobilization. It shows that the Union and the Confederacy, the two central states involved in the Civil War, were in most respects mirror images, with a few intriguing variations on a theme. Finally, the chapter takes up the war's legacy as it played out in the South under Reconstruction and in the nation overall.

Keywords: Civil War; United States; Reconstruction; Union; Confederacy; military mobilization; public finance; civil liberties; government; economy

Chapter.  18478 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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